Harold Arlen: "The words sustain your interest, make sense, contain memorable phrases and tell a story. Without the lyric, the song would be just another song."
But what can I do?
Johnny Mercer meant his 1942 lyric, set to Harold Arlen’s tune, to refer specifically to Judy Garland, with whom he was having an affair. The song consists of the famous line: “I should stay away, but what can I do?”